Being below the Limit
Can you be convicted of DUI even if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit?
This, or similar questions, are common on a driver’s license test. The simple answer is: YES, you can.
The Legal Limits
If a person is age 21 or older, the legal limit in United States is 0.08%. In other words, it is illegal for any person to drive a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
This is, however, just one way of determining if you are driving under the influence or not.
Signs of Impairment
Even if your BAC is below legal limits, you may be an unsafe driver and you may be arrested. Almost all drivers show impairment by alcohol at levels well below the legal limit. In fact, even just one drink of alcohol may affect your driving.
This is especially true if you have mixed alcohol with any kind of drugs, even over-the-counter drugs, or have any kind of health problems.
Stopped by an Officer
If you are stopped by an officer and show signs of impairment, the officer may use field sobriety tests to establish probable cause to make an arrest. Such field tests may be enough to convict you of a DUI.
In other words, even if your BAC is below the limit and even without a BAC measurement, you may be arrested and later convicted of DUI.